We recently updated our NSMBA 101 document to reflect some of the changes and adoptions we have experienced over the past year. The NSMBA 101 document is our way of synthesizing the questions we often receive in an easy to refer to document. We hope it can help to better understand the function, reason and limitations of the NSMBA. This is a living and breathing document that is updated by the Board yearly. We appreciate you taking the time to read through it to learn more about how we operate and our stance on certain topics. If you have any feedback or comments please feel free to email us info@nsmba.ca – we are always open to listening and appreciate the opportunity for conversation.

Each month we will highlight a section of the 101 that is relevant for the organization. This past month during a meeting with Metro Vancouver Land Managers unsanctioned building off of CBC was discussed.

The Land Managers are working together to prevent and manage any unsanctioned trail building to ensure the planned out network meets a high standard, and prevent significant environmental impacts. Joint enforcement patrols and signage along with public education will continue by the Land Managers. If you have an idea for a new trail or structure, please contact the appropriate land manager and/or the NSMBA.

NSMBA // info@nsmba.ca

Metro // Megan – Megan.Kobitzsch@metrovancouver.org  //  Matt – Matt.Harmeson@metrovancouver.org

DNV // Tyler – FarleyT@dnv.org

Policy on Unsanctioned Trails (From the NSMBA 101 – read the full document HERE)

The NSMBA advocates against the construction of trails or features which have not been authorized or permitted by the land managers. Unsanctioned trails can have a significant impact on the environment.  

The proliferation of unsanctioned trails is one of the biggest threats to mountain biking on the North Shore. On land for which the NSMBA has a formal work agreement with a Land Manager, trails or features constructed without the authorization of the Land Manager pose several problems for the NSMBA. Unsanctioned trail construction can limit our ability to maintain existing trails and are a significant deterrent to being permitted to construct any new trails.

Over the last 10 years mountain biking has formally been recognized by the Land Managers who have jurisdiction over Mount Fromme and Mount Seymour. The trail network, which was mainly built prior to this, was evaluated and a trail classification system developed. This process was the mechanism for the Land Managers to legitimize these trails for mountain bike use. It also enabled the NSMBA to conduct authorized trail work on land managed by the DNV ,Metro Vancouver, and BC Parks on Mount Fromme and Mount Seymour.

The creation of unauthorized alternate lines on an existing sanctioned trail can place the sanctioned trail at risk. Improperly constructed lines may contribute to erosion and dilute the integrity of the trail. Unpermitted trail work can jeopardize the NSMBA’s relationship with the relevant Land Manager. It also demonstrates a lack of respect for the original and/or existing builder.  

The NSMBA recognizes that many builders work independently from the NSMBA, and often unsanctioned trails are built out of frustration with the system or from a perceived need for more advanced or varied trail experiences. The NSMBA encourages builders to work within the existing systems and will strive to engage in respectful dialogue with independent builders. The NSMBA encourages communication with independent builders, and will assist permitted builders as requested, to the extent the organization has the capacity and depth to do so.